Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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Ordnance survey map of SAMLESBURY HALL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Ribble (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 62365 30484



2/98 Samlesbury Hall 25.7.1952 (Formerly listed as Samlesbury Old Hall)

- I

Large house, C14 and C16 for Southworth family, lords of manor. Formerly moated site believed to have contained a courtyard surrounded by 4 ranges of building, of which those remaining formed the west and part of the north sides. Great Hall, on north side, is possibly that built c. 1322-30 to replace Old Hall (burnt in Scots raid of 1322), but is said to have characteristics of later date, and is given by Pevsner as C15; west wing is early to mid-C16; some restoration in C19. All on stone plinth; hall is cruck framed, 4 bays, single storey with 2-storey oriel close to the junction with west wing, which is box-framed of 4 bays and two storeys. Surface of end and inner walls of wing, (and upper level of oriel) filled with black and white quatrefoil pattern, topped by embattled wall plate from which springs coving to eaves; 3 original 1st floor oriels with carved wooded sills (4 C19 windows and entrance porch at ground floor); slate roof. South wall of hall has early C16 polygonal oriel with oblong gabled upper level, but is otherwise c. 1865 restoration: herringbone timber framing with 2 windows inserted at upper level, and original entrance to 4th bay blocked and concealed; gable has original herringbone timber framing. The rear walls of both parts differ from the fronts: rear of hall is C16 rubble with very large external 3-stage chimney flanked at 2nd stage by small 2-light windows; rear of wing is C16 red brick with some diaper patterning, incorporating on both floors tall stone mullion windows with cinquefoil lights, and one at south end with C15 tracery (said to have been taken from Whalley Abbey); and has 3 external chimneys, the largest being of stone almost to eaves level, all topped by tall diagonally shafted flues. (This wing was extended to the north by 2 bays in matching style and materials in C19). Interior of hall: originally 5 full cruck trusses, the first 2 altered when north wall and oriel were constructed in early C16, one forming east wall with herringbone struts, the other composed of full blades, arch-braced collar supporting braced king strut rising to an upper collar (that in the centre also has raking struts, a 3rd collar, and is cross braced); each blade carries 2 moulded through-purlins with cusped wind braces. Until c. 1830 upper (west) end of hall had dais with coved canopy, flanked by moulded speres and low cusp-headed doorways, and lower end a moveable oak screen very elaborately carved (like that of Rufford) but c. 1840 the canopy was replaced by a "minstrels' gallery" incorporating dismembered parts of the screen, principally its middle rail (carved with name Thomas Southworth and date 1532) and its 3 barbarically carved pinnacles which now rise from front of gallery to embattled cross beam with vine leaf frieze, originally head of canopy; spere posts and doorways remain. Interior of west wing includes former chapel rising through both floors at south end, with gallery; entrance hall (with C19 staircase); a parlour or dining room with stone chimney piece; carved on the head "Thomas Sothworth HB T IR A° DNI Mo CCCCCLV"; and ante room; and at 1st floor a long chamber which has moulded stone fireplace. Both floors have exceptionally fine heavily moulded wall posts, beams, and tie beams, carved wall plates, spandrels and arch bracing, though the construction is not uniform and there is evidence of some alterations. Comparable with the few other major examples of late medieval timber-framed halls in the region (e.go Ordsall, Rufford, Smithills, Speke). (VCH Lanes; Pevsner; W.J. Smith Archaeological Journal 1969; R, Eaton History of Samlesbury 1936; A. Croston History of Lancashire 1888, and Samlesbury Hall 1871; A. Rimmer Historic Society of Lancs and Cheshire 1851).

Listing NGR: SD6235930481


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Croston, A, History of Lancashire, (1888)
Croston, A , Samlesbury Hall, (1871)
Eaton, R, History of Samlesbury, (1936)
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, (1906)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Lancashire, (1969)
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, (1969)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 20 Jul 2000
Reference: IOE01/00117/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr K. Foster. Source Historic England Archive
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